Indonesia – Police in Indonesia say six suspected Islamist militants who were killed during a New Year's Eve shoot-out near Jakarta planned to carry out a string of attacks against the U.S. Embassy, Buddhist temples, and hotels frequented by foreigners. After a nine hour fire fight with the terrorists the police seized a handwritten document from the house revealing the group's targets. Police linked the six men to a cell formerly headed by Abu Roban, a suspected terrorist who was himself killed in a police raid last year. The Police believe the cell is suspected of having links to Al-Qaeda. Indonesia has suffered several major bomb attacks in the last decade that have been blamed on Islamic militants, including the Bali bombings of 2002 that killed 202 people.
Philippines – Communist rebels vowed on the 2 Jan 14 to intensify attacks against government troops and build a 25,000-strong guerrilla force, but the military mocked the target as unrealistic. New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas marked the 45th founding anniversary of their underground party with a clandestine gathering at a mountain lair, where they invited journalists in south-eastern Agusan del Sur province. A communist rebel statement urged the Maoist guerrillas to "wipe out enemy units and seize their weapons" and "increase the number of our Red fighters to 25,000." Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala, however, said the rebels, whose armed guerrilla strength has dwindled to 4,000, have been on a decline and would not achieve such a target due to problems such as the loss of community support and infighting. Zagala said. "The reality is they have been on a decline due to the loss of their mass bases, surrenders and other problems." The communist rebellion in the Philippines began in the late 1960s with a ragtag group armed with a few rifles. The movement peaked during the repressive years under Dictator Ferdinand Marcos with several thousand full-time guerrillas. Though it remains one of the world's longest-running Marxist insurgencies, the rebel movement has grown considerably weaker in recent years due to battle setbacks, surrenders and factionalism. They still remain a national security concern. Talks to end the rebellion have stalled since 2011 due to disagreements between the government and guerrillas over the release of several jailed rebel leaders.
At least six people have been killed and 15 wounded in separate bomb attacks in the southern Philippines it was reported on the 2 Jan 14. A homemade explosive device went off at a kiosk in Basilan province's Sumisip township, killing at least six and wounding 10 others at a New Year's party late on the 31 Dec 13 Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala as saying. At first the authorities thought that the explosions were part of the New Year celebrations but, "This is really an improvised explosive device," Zagala said, adding that the motive was still unknown. Troops and police who responded to the emergency said the party took place at the home of Manuel Casineros, a pro-government militiaman and volunteer for a nearby Catholic church. Casineros had apparently been helping authorities protect rubber plantation workers from extortion by armed gangs like Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group founded in the 1990s with money from Osama bin Laden. Last year, Abu Sayyaf gunmen ambushed a convoy carrying plantation workers, killing six and wounding 22 in the same area. Police have not confirmed responsibility but suspect that the Abu Sayyaf was involved, said provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Mario Dapilloza said describing the blast as "very powerful". Hours before the attack in Sumisip, a man riding a motorcycle launched a grenade at a Protestant Church in Cotabato province's Carmen township, wounding a mother, her three children and another girl, police said, adding that three men on two motorcycles were seen speeding away from the scene. Al-Qaeda-linked rebel groups are known to operate in both southern provinces, according to Captain Jefferson, a local army spokesman.
Russia – Counter-terrorism experts say that the two terror attacks in Volgograd, Russia on the 28 Dec 13 and the 29 Dec 13 are probes by terrorists in advance of larger attacks against the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Especially worrisome to Russian security services is the growing reliance by terrorist organizations on Russian Muslims, or Slavs who converted to Islam, to carry out suicide attacks, as they can move about in many parts of Russia without drawing attention. With static locations easier to secure the emphasis is possibly that of the transport industry such as busses and trains that will move people around the country especially to and from the games venue. The games are due to open on the 7 Feb 14.
The discovery of several improvised explosive devices and the bodies of six men shot dead put security forces on higher alert in the North Caucasus region of Russia on the 9 Jan 14 and added new concerns about violence ahead of the Olympic Games planned for the nearby resort city of Sochi in Feb 14. The police found the bodies of the men on the 8 Jan 14 in several abandoned cars near the city of Pyatigorsk in the Stavropol region, about 170 miles east of the site of the Games, and the explosives next to the cars. One of the devices detonated, and a bomb squad disarmed two others. The Stavropol region borders several turbulent North Caucasus republics, where Russia is struggling to quell the Islamist insurgency that has resulted in explosions and shootouts between gangs and local police forces almost daily. Sochi has largely been quarantined ahead of the Games, closing its roads to vehicles from other parts of the country and mobilizing tens of thousands of government troops to ensure safety for visiting athletes and tourists. The police said they were seeking three men from the neighbouring Kabardino-Balkaria region in connection with the murders but did not immediately link the case to terrorism. The statement was probably released to stop rumours and fear regarding the security for the February Winter Olympics.